Stories and Science for Better Foreign Language Learning

The Spark of HackingLanguage.com: Stories and Science for Better Foreign Language Learning

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It’s time to talk more about how we can better improve language learning. There are a lot bad advice and some good advice out there on what it takes to learn a foreign language. There is a lot of misconceptions and confusions on how to learn better.

It’s time to put the science and data on our side and make language learning better and more efficient. We need to share stories and use science.

This is my “hello world” post for HackingLanguage.com.

I’m Mark Koester and you can find my presence scattered about the web including on Twitter.

I’m passionate about language learning and improving language learning. I’ve been “experimenting” with language learning myself for the past several years. I consider myself fluent in French, Spanish and Chinese, though there is some room for improvement in Spanish and Chinese.

I’ve also been “experimenting” with education-related technologies and websites. There are number of great sites and apps out there for improving language learning. I even built my own a few years ago at Language-Corner.org, while, while no longer active, taught me a lot. Personally, I think are still great technologies and communities to be built for the improvement of language learning.

Recently, on my personal blog, I’ve been writing quite a bit about “Hacking Language”. While primarily story-telling about my process learning Korean, Burmese and other languages, I’ve also shared quite a few pointers about the best way to learn a foreign language in general. I’ve also made a point to track my learning time to help establish some parameters to answer the eternal language learning question: How long does it take to learn X language?

Unfortunately, I think the science, data and reasoning behind many of the best language learning and learning technologies remains rather obscured. I want to dispel the myths and help establish the facts and stats on how to learn the various foreign languages out there.

I’m also a technologist at heart, so I’m also in the process of building a new tool to help the language learner but tracking what you are learning, how long you spent studying and hopefully eventually guide each and every learner towards an optimal learning path.

We need to share these stories. We also need to make it clearer exactly what it takes to learn a foreign tongue.

Language learning is a bit like climbing a mountain. My goal is to help be your guide; to make sure you are climbing the right mountain and staying on target to reach the top.

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